word names

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Are These Baby Names Hip, or Hippie?

What do you think of names like Rose Dorinda, Fox Alexandria, and Raven Thalia? They are all girls' names I am considering. I wonder how far I can go with my name themes, because none of the boy names I like go in that direction (Killian Alexander, Ezra Raphael, Aedan Ezekiel). Are my favorite names too hippie/tree-hugger?

–Nature Lover

Trees deserve a hug now and then, don't they? So "tree-hugger" doesn’t have to be a negative. Not all nature names automatically fall into the "hippie" category (that is, too weird for mainstream), anyway. If you love nature, it's only natural that you're drawn to baby names that celebrate flora, fauna, and the outdoors.

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Will Everyone Hate This Baby Name?

We are having a baby boy and my husband wants to call him Fox (middle name will be Nicholas). We like names that are a bit uncommon, but I'm worried that this name is a bit too unusual and that he will get the nickname "Foxy." I also think my family will hate it, give that foxes are pest animals here in Australia. I prefer the name Lex, but my husband hates it! What are your thoughts on the name Fox? Is it a bit too out there? Or am I overthinking it?

–X-hausted Mom-to-Be

In the United States today, Fox would be a bold choice. It would come across as a bit uncommon, as you prefer, but also as appealing to many with its confident sound and origin in a nature word. Short, brisk word names are on the rise, and Fox fits right in with them.

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I Can't Name My Baby After a Spider ... Or Can I?

I found a name that I loved as soon as I saw it: Aranea. Since I learned of it from a video game ad, I looked it up and found out it's the name of a villain. That part doesn’t bother me, but it does bother me that Aranea is a genus of orb-weaving spider. It's such a pretty name, and with so many nature-inspired names out there (I've met a Bear, a Cove, and a River), does it matter much that my daughter might secretly be named after a spider?

–Spider-girl's Mom?

Loving the sound of a name, but not its meaning, is a tough spot to be in. After all, name meanings are tricky to pin down and can be misunderstood. And the sound is what you hear every day when you speak your child's name. Thousands of parents every year choose names based on sound, without giving meaning much thought—otherwise, would anyone choose a name that's said to mean "crippled" (Claudia) or "unlucky" (Mallory)?

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Two Colors for a Baby's Name?

Before I even knew what I was having, I had my heart set on Gray for a middle name. Then I fell in love with the name Indigo. It is strange to have two colors for the first and middle name? Her name would be Indigo Gray Walker. An alternative name would be Temple.

–Rainbow Mama

Two colors need not be a problem, although I did advise against Hunter Greene as a first-middle combo. Just look at little Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z, who seems to be doing just fine with her double-hue (and double-word) name.

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We’re Hunting for the Right Baby Name!

We have a boy name picked out, but we are trying to find the perfect girl name for our first baby. I am wondering what you think about the name "Quarry." We have talked about Cora (which is one of our faves right now) and mentioned Quincy. The state park that is located in our town has a beautiful quarry. We spend quite a bit of time there, took our wedding pictures there, etc., so Quarry seems somewhat fitting. It's obviously not a common name so I just need a second opinion if it sounds crazy or not.

–Due in May

A meaningful word or place name can often be an inspired and inspiring choice for a baby name. Nature words, in particular, often make for popular and well-received names. Autumn, Lily, Savannah, and Jasmine were among the top 100 names for baby girls in 2014 (along with other word names such as Aria, Serenity, Genesis, Piper, Faith, and Ruby). Hazel, Willow, and Juniper are all up-and-comers from the natural world.

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Is This Name Too Dog-gone Bad?

My husband and I have had the boy's name Fox picked out for years. We are now trying to conceive and I just realized this name doesn't go with our last name, which is Terry. Fox terriers were originally bred to hunt foxes. Would this name combination evoke the dog breed?

–Hooked on Fox

It's a sad realization, isn't it? The first name you've been dreaming about for years suddenly bumps up against an immovable force: The surname. Some surnames are just more challenging than others to work with. And although Terry might seem innocuous, it can pose a problem because it resembles a first name (or nickname). So pairing it with a nontraditional first name—one that could also be a surname—is tricky.

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Trendy: Is This Soccer Star's Baby Name Really So Bad?

The name world has been chewing over another outrageous celebrity baby name: Trendy, the name soccer player Gabriel Zakuani chose for his son. Per Wikipedia, Zakuani is already the father to two daughters, Destiny and Heaven. Destiny, Heaven and Trendy. How's that for a sibset? 

Word names can be tough to pull off, but the real heat behind the snark over this name has to to with Zakuani's inpsiration: Twitter. 

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Viola Davis's Baby Name: Why Genesis is a Girl's Name

Viola Davis's Baby Name: Why Genesis is a Girl's Name

The Help actress Viola Davis and her husband, actor Julian Tennon, have adopted a daughter, whom they have named Genesis. Original reports claimed that baby Genesis was a boy, making the name an unusual choice, a gender-bender on par with Johnny Knoxville's baby girl Arlo. Why has Genesis been so decidely taken up by the girls? 

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Shayne Lamas' Im-Press-ive Baby Name

Shayne Lamas' Im-Press-ive Baby Name

Reality TV star Shayne Lamas and her husband, Nik Richie, have some baby news to share: the baby-to-be is a girl, and her name will be Press. 

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The Baby Name Apple: Why All the Hate?

The Baby Name Apple: Why All the Hate?

With the announcement that Steve Jobs has retired as CEO, Apple is all over the news.  On the baby name beat, though, Apple is rarely away from the headlines. Whenever a news outlet wants to run a story on "those crazy celebrity baby names," Apple leads the list of usual suspects. A sample sentence, culled from a story posted yesterday: "Some of the most renowned celebrity baby name flops includeGwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin who named their daughter Apple."

We're wondering, why all the hate? Is it time to re-evaluate Apple as a name? 

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